The Boston Celtics remain very interested in adding another superstar to their line-up, mainly to keep up with the top team in the East, the Cleveland Cavaliers with LeBron James. According to latest NBA rumors, the Cs want to acquire Gordon Hayward from the Utah Jazz but it’s not clear if the Western team want to give up their franchise player at this time or if the Celtics will wait and target him in free agency.
However, the Celtics have lots of trade assets if Utah wants to do a deal. The Jazz is expected to be one of the most improved teams in the conference but Boston can offer a combination of young prospects and future high first round picks, it could be hard to pass up if the Jazz are offered this package.
NBA expert Zach Lowe of ESPN, who notes that the Jazz still has the best opportunity to give Hayward a huge contract extension, is reporting the rumors that Celtics head coach Brad Stevens still want his old player to his NBA team. Stevens and Hayward partnered in leading the Butler Bulldogs in 2009 and 2010 in college basketball.
There are two ways how the Celtics can acquire Hayward. First is to wait until he reaches free agency after the 2016-2017 NBA Season as he is expected to get out of his contract next season and become a free agent, assuming he does not get the extension from the Jazz in the coming months.
Second is for the Celtics to try to trade for Hayward this season and try to convince the Jazz that any package of their young guys (Jaylen Brown) and future first round picks (lottery pick from the Brooklyn Nets, one of the worst teams in the league next season).
While a trade is not the preference for the Jazz because they are on the right track in their rebuilding, the Kevin Durant free agency this summer has scared a lot of teams about stars leaving their previous teams.
Like Durant, Hayward can choose to sign with another team on a cheaper deal if it means having a better shot at an NBA title. The Celtics provide Hayward that opportunity with a core of Al Horford, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder. If he reunites with Stevens in Boston, he will also be one of the top offensive players for the team and his role will be that of a franchise scorer on title-contending team.
For now, these are just rumors since the Jazz have him under contract for the year. But if Utah struggles to keep up with the top teams in the West, trading Hayward before the deadline could happen.
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